Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Belated Info on Election of New CIRM Chair, $120 Million Grant Round and Costly CIRM Study

With only one business day remaining before its meeting this week, the California stem cell agency released details of its plan for an expensive study of its activities along with procedures for election of a new chairman.

The late-coming information disclosed that the proposed Institute of Medicine study of CIRM would cost $615,000. Previously, CIRM discussions indicated that the cost would be in $1 million range. The memo called for the study to be completed in August or September 2012, a few months prior to the presidential election. CIRM Chairman Robert Klein has said the study would be key to winning support for a multi-billion dollar bond measure that would be presented to voters at an unspecified date. CIRM relies state bonds -- borrowed money -- to finance its operations and grants.

The agency today also released an important memo on procedures for replacement of Klein, who said he will step down in December when his six-year term expires. Unclear is whether Klein wants to remain on the board as a regular member. The board cannot simply choose one of its members as the new chairman. Under the terms of Prop. 71, it must pick only from candidates nominated by the governor, treasurer, controller and lieutenant governor. In theory, however, it could reject all of them and ask for new candidates, although the memo does not discuss that possibility.

The procedures proposed by James Harrison of Remcho, Johnansen & Purcell of San Leandro, Ca., the board's outside counsel, envisioned nominations coming from those officials prior to the board's December meeting. Harrison said the board could meet behind closed doors to consider the candidates. Presumably that would be classified as a personnel session, since both the chairman and vice chairman are considered employees.

Another important item was posted late, in this case Friday. It is a proposal for a $120 million grant round, the second in the disease team effort.

As we remarked earlier, this information comes far too late for the public to evaluate it and formulate well-thought out comments for tomorrow's meeting. Sphere: Related Content


  1. Anonymous7:47 AM

    If the nominations for chair are made in December, one and perhaps two will be made by lame duck officeholders. The governor is termed out. The lieutenant governor is expected to lose. That could make for some interesting political games.

  2. Anonymous10:51 PM

    Good obsevation. I just sure hope that the change in chair that we've heard about for soooooooooooooo long over at CIRM will actually happen THIS December. It's been promised, now let's hope it finally gets delivered!